Mers coronavirus: UAE Ministry of Health launches ‘smart clinic’ advice programme

The feed @UAEMOH allows social media users to question a public health specialist about ways to prevent the disease spreading

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DUBAI // The Ministry of Health has launched an online ‘smart clinic’ programme to educate people about the Mers coronavirus, state news agency Wam has reported.

Dr Mohammed Badi, a public health specialist, answered questions in Arabic about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome through the ministry’s Twitter account.

Dr Badi called on people to maintain healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, staying active and getting enough sleep.

Other advice included prevent regularly washing one’s hands with soap and water or disinfectants, especially after coughing, sneezing or using the toilet.

De Badi also advises against eating raw or half-cooked animal products, and reminded people to cover their mouth using a handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.

The smart clinic aimed to use modern technology for quick communication with society, said Al Onood Al Haddad, project manager at the Ministry of Health.

The number of laboratory-confirmed Mers cases is 261, with 93 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

That number does not include the first case of infection reported in Egypt, or additional cases reported in Saudi Arabia.

As many as 75 per cent of the recent reported cases have been contracted from another infected person, the WHO said late last month, mainly health care workers.

The WHO has recommended that health care facilities take measures to decrease risk of transmission from infected patients. It also recommended increasing efforts to raise awareness of Mers among travellers going to and from Mers-affected countries, but no special screening at points of entry or trade and travel restrictions have been advised.

Follow @UAEMOH on Twitter to see the Ministry of Health's feed.